June 27, 2005
Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”
And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor. And you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
The rich young ruler mentioned in the passage above had every possibility of being great in the
And so if you can just grasp this picture: Jesus was not too far away in time from giving his life on the cross for the salvation of men and women. A wealthy man wrapped in regal robes approached Jesus, a Galilean peasant and carpenter from
We all like to hear the stories of the Bible with happy endings, but unfortunately this biblical account is anything but happy. This is the story of a successful failure—the man who had everything, but lost it all. Though he had great possessions and power, he turned away from Jesus because of what he would lose on this earth.
Can you believe it? He went away into eternity without God and without hope for eternal life. Jesus gave him the answer, but the young ruler refused to follow. It’s almost scary how many times this same scenario happens today. How many people do you know that have everything, but instead of choosing eternity with Christ, they choose to live only for a moment with their possessions? Or are you the person who has chosen not to give up your earthly materialism to follow Christ?
Let me warn you of the dangerous consequences that will follow if you choose to live for the things of this world, instead of Christ. You will spend eternity in hell. But if you are seeking how to have eternal life, then you’ll find it in salvation through Jesus and by dying to yourself in an effort to completely follow Him.
If you know of someone who has rejected Christ as a result of what this world has to offer, then continue to pray for them daily and seek to be a witness to them. Regardless of our actions, God looks on us with love. But to spend eternity with the Savior, we must daily pick up our crosses, throw away the value we put on “things,” and truly follow Him at all costs.
IF YOU GIVE UP THE WORLD, THEN YOU’LL GAIN HEAVEN.